Skip to content

Food Premises Inspections

To protect the public and to maintain standards we carry out regular checks at all food premises.

We have a right to enter and inspect food premises when they are operating. 

It is an offence to obstruct an inspector when they are carrying out their duties.

We carry out routine inspections of food premises, generally without prior notification, usually when the business is trading. We prioritise inspections according to the degree of risk posed by the food business, using a national scoring scheme. This ensures that we visit higher risk premises more frequently than those in lower risk categories.

Westminster City Council has produced this video that shows What to Expect on a Food Hygiene Inspection

During an inspection, we check the following areas and will give each area a score based on the level of compliance seen during the inspection.

Confidence in management

  • food safety management procedures and implementation
  • food safety records and documentation
  • staff training and knowledge
  • attitude of management towards hygiene and food safety
  • track record and willingness to act on previous advice and enforcement

Structure of the premises

  • cleanliness
  • layout
  • condition and suitability of structure
  • lighting
  • ventilation
  • facilities
  • pest Control
  • waste provisions

Food Hygiene and Safety Procedure

  • food handling practices
  • temperature control
  • preparation methods
  • cooking methods
  • cooling methods
  • reheating methods
  • controls to prevent cross contamination
  • food storage methods

The combination of these scores determines the food hygiene rating score for the premises.  Premises are rated on the compliance levels seen during the inspection, any actions taken following an inspection are not taken into consideration during the scoring determination.

For more information, please visit our page on the food hygiene rating scheme.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme applies to food premises that serve or supply food direct to the public. This means that the business will be given a hygiene rating from ‘0’ to ‘5’, where 5 represents the highest hygiene standard.

Where practices or conditions are not satisfactory, every attempt will be made to resolve the situation by informal means, but where poor conditions persist, or where there is a risk to public health, it may be necessary to resort to formal action. This could involve either the service of a legal notice, prosecution, or in extreme cases, closure of the business.

We will carry out compliance revisits to premises that have scored a FHRS of 2 or below. The premises are not re rated during these revisits; they are to ensure sufficient improvements have been made to the level of compliance. Where insufficient improvements have been made our officers will follow our enforcement policy to ensure improvements are made and compliance is met.

For further information, please see our Food Safety Enforcement Policy.

Contact us

If you have any questions or queries please contact us using our online query form.

Contact us - Food and Workplace Safety

01235 422403
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

Vale of White Horse District Council
Food and Workplace Safety Team
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE